Maharashtra bird flu: 481 more birds die, cases emerge in Pune too

A total of 481 birds died because of bird flu on Wednesday of which 455 were poultry birds. Pune, which so far had not reported a single death amid the outbreak, saw 13 poultry fatalities during the day. The number of districts, where the bird flu has been detected, was increased to 22 today.

As many as 18 poultry deaths were reported in Latur, 3 in Beed, 13 in Akola, 294 in Yeotmal district, 9 in Nanded, 3 in Ahmednagar, 79 in Bhandara and 9 in Solapur district.

Moreover, a total of 21 crows have been found dead on the day, of which four were reported in Beed, one each in Ratnagiri, Satara, Ahmednagar, four in Pune and five each in Akola and Yeotmal district.

Now, the total number of birds to have died since January 8 has risen to 3004.

Meanwhile, the samples have been sent to National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal and Animal Disease Investigation Section in Pune for testing. The results are expected in 48 to 72 hours.

Besides, the samples from Mumbai, Ghodbander (Thane district) and Dapoli for crows & herons and samples of poultry from Muramba (Tal. Parbhani) have been found positive for (H5N1 strain) and samples from Beed district have been found positive for H5N8 strain. Accordingly, the area is being declared as an "Infected Area" and action is being taken to enforce the prescribed preventive measures.

As per these measures, all of the poultry birds within 1 km radius of the infected poultry farm have been ordered to be culled. In all 14,535 birds including 3,443 in Parbhani and 11,092 in Latur district have been culled so far.

Meanwhile, the Maharashtra government has issued an advisory on Tuesday. The government has directed the owners of poultry farms and general public to immediately intimate mortality in crows, parrots, herons or in migratory birds in any village or of any unusual mortality of poultry birds in commercial farms as well as backyard poultry to the nearest veterinary dispensary. The intimation can also be given toll free no. 18002330418.

"It is advised that the dead birds should not be touched with bare hands and post mortem of such dead birds should not be conducted. The birds should not be disposed of without intimation to the local veterinarian," the government said.

"As per the provisions under Section(1) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious and Contagious Diseases of Animals Act, 2009, every owner, or any other person, non-governrnental organization, public bodies or village panchayat, in-charge or any animal which he or it has a reason to believe to be infective of a scheduled disease shall report the fact to the village officer or village panchayat in-charge, who may report the same in writing to the available veterinarian," the government added.

The government further added that it's safe to eat eggs and poultry meat, if the eggs and poultry meat are cooked for 30 minutes at 70 degrees Celcius.

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